"He still hasn't come back."
In a pub sorely lacking in customers, three men sat at one of the two dozen tables arranged around the area.
"You think she got him too?" one of the men pondered.
"Probably. He's been in a few scrapes before, but Adrian's no knight. Hell, I heard a knight was sent there and even he didn't come back."
"Seriously? Jeez, if even a knight can't beat that thing, this village is doomed!"
A loud noise interrupted their exchange. A mug was dropped onto the table and a silver-haired young man seated himself amongst the three men. "It looks like I came to the right place," he said. "My sincerest greetings and regards to you. I heard that this village was being affected by the arrival of a Midara. It seems she has taken from the three of you and others."
"Who are you? An outsider?"
He nodded his head and took a swig of ale from his mug. "I am a wanderer, for the most part. A freelancer, you could say. I follow rumors and whispers and take on jobs of a wide variety, but my forte is in dealing with Midara."
The three looked at him with mixed reactions. Understandable, from the nature of their conversation prior. One of them spoke up and asked, "What's your name?"
The man huffed and took another swig of his drink. He looked the man square in the eyes, his expression the prime example of stoicism. "I'd prefer that I keep that to myself."
"Oh yeah, and why's that?"
"Whether I defeat this Midara causing trouble for the village or I fall to her charms like the others before me, I am but an outsider. I'll be out of your lives before long."
He finished his drink and stood up from his seat and looked to a waitress and asked for a loaf of bread and another mug of ale, to which she obliged.
"I'm off to deal with this issue, boys."
Before he could leave, one of them called out to him. "Hold on, if your one of those freelancers, then aren't you gonna state your price."
He looked back with a coy smile and replied, "You can pay my bill." He offered a wave as he left the pub.
He strolled to the north-northeast edge of the village and entered the vast neighboring forest. Wandering past countless trees, bushes, and retreating animals, he kept his eyes out for anything that might come at him.
He put up a face mask as a sweet fragrance came accompanied by the voice of a woman. "Another one has come to me."
He looked over his shoulder just in time to leap out of the way of a tackle. He looked at the one who attempted to attack him. She was of a thin frame with dark skin, golden eyes, raven-black hair at shoulder length, and quite the beauty. Her chest was a modest c-cup size and her rear looked fantastic.
However, what was most notable were the black cat ears that topped her head, black thin tail protruding from the back of her waistline, and her slitted pupils.
"A black cat up to no good," he noted. "You've been a thorn in Ignis Village's side, Midara."
"Oh, I was just having fun," she said playfully. "And they certainly had fun with me too. Why don't you come on over and you can have some fun too."
He shook his head and pulled out a staff and got into a ready stance. "I'd brace myself if I were you," he advised.
She smiled and got to her feet, the clothes she wore wrapped tightly around her curves, making them more notable as she moved around. "If that's how you want to play, I'm game."
The Midara leaped forward with surprising speed. Much faster than before. The man only barely managed to counter with his staff in time.
He held the weapon up and slammed it into her side aggressively, earning a growl in return. "I can see why so many lost to you."
She recovered from the attack and laughed sweetly. "Actually, they liked it much better when I took things slowly." She beckoned to him, walking backwards a few paces.
He matched every step she took, preparing to attack again. He heard a definite click and suddenly he was whipped upside down in the air. He had been caught in a trap and his legs were tied up now with a rope.
"Yay! You fell for my trap! Let's see you avoid me now." She approached him and took his face in her hands, removing his mask. "Pucker up, love." She kissed him firm on the lips, only stopping at the sound of his rustling clothes as he moved his arm. He seemed to be moving his staff toward the rope. "Oh? How do you expect to get loose with that blunt stick of yours? Playing the tough guy act? Cute~!"
She peppered his face with kisses as he geared up to swing his staff at the rope. As he took the swing, the form of his staff shifted, the end gained a sharp edge which cut the rope easily.
He hit the ground, but shuffled to his feet quickly and held his sharpened staff at the ready. "I have my tricks, cat," he said.
"I can see that! That was magic wasn't it? Looks like your more than a hot body... and a very hard rod." She lucked her lips as she looked more towards his waist, where there was something poking the inside of his leggings.
The sweet smell in the air and her lust-filled kisses were really affecting him. "A bit of perfume and a few kisses got you turned on this much? That's adorable. I bet you'll love this then." She began to strip down, taking her sweet time all the while.
He gripped his staff and swung it at her, hitting her in the ass as she was removing her pants.
She released a yelp, but not in pain. "So eager," she mewled. She finished removing her pants, a heavier fragrance emerging from her, making it harder for him to concentrate.
He growled in frustration and swung his staff again. His attack was weaker than the others, and she caught it and wrenched it from his hands.
"Let's not rush, love." She thrust his staff deep into the ground with ease and then stripped herself of her top, her breasts emerging from their bindings. "Would you like to see a dance?" she asked, pressing her body against his staff, wrapping a leg around it.
"I'd prefer you leave," he stated. He felt himself heat up looking at her treat his staff like a stripper pole.
"So mean," she huffed. "Why don't you see what I can do first?" She began twirling around the staff, moving her body skillfully around and rubbing herself with it, wetting the rod.
He couldn't help but imagine what she could do if she had her hands on him. Though he was worried, he couldn't help but to take a step toward her. He forced himself to stop, however, and then closed his eyes.
"Ah, that's no fun!" he heard her say.
He stopped and collected his thoughts and made his best attempt to calm his mind. Slowly, his mind seemed to be free from her charms, albeit just a bit.
He opened his eyes to find that she wasn't dancing anymore, her face only inches from his. He reacted quickly and slammed his palm into her chest hard, knocking her back.
She stumbled from the sudden attack and tripped over backwards as her foot hit the staff. "Ow," she whined. She felt a heavy weight on her arms and noticed him standing on her arms to keep them pinned.
He grabbed his staff and ripped it from the ground and then moved it to the straps on his back. "Cease your activities towards the village!" he demanded.
"Aw, do you want me all to yourself?" she asked. "You seem pretty happy around me." She seemed to disregard her position, seeing that he was still quite aroused from her actions earlier.
However, he swept his staff back and thrust the blunt end into her stomach, forcing out a cry of pain. "Now!"
"Th-That hurts," she whimpered. "Get off me!" She changed tunes rather quickly.
He removed his feet from her arms and then struck her in the chest again with a forceful palm strike and found her unconscious afterwards. "Not quite resistant to pain," he noted.
He took the time in which she was unconscious to calm himself and he was soon satisfied to be back to normal. He sat down against a tree and looked over her. He gave out a sigh and pulled off his pack, reaching in and pulling out a blanket and throwing it over her. He waited for an hour and a half before she started to stir.
"Mmm~ What happened?" she mumbled drowsily. She saw the silver-haired man not far off from her and she scooted away from him.
"Relax. I have no intentions of harming you any further. That is, unless you try to fight again."
She seemed to relax a bit and then took notice of the blanket she just abandoned. "Did you...?"
"You were stark naked and getting you dressed while you were unconscious would've been difficult," he answered. "Besides, no one needs a cold."
"Oh, you're so sweet~!" she purred, trying to put up a provocative front. One irritated glance from him put a swift stop to that, however. "I'm awfully surprised, though. Anyone else would've taken the chance to do me in for good. At least, that's what I think."
"I'm not so low that I'd kill a defenseless girl," he shot. "Besides, as long as you return the people you did in to their senses, I have no reason to."
She nodded and smiled timidly. "I have no choice, huh?"
"Not much," he confirmed.
She sighed and held her hands together, the air around them beginning to shimmer with energy. After a quick minute, she separated her hands and said, "They should all be back to normal now."
He got up and pet her head, ruffling her hair a bit. "Good kitty. Now come on." He pulled her to her feet and got her to get dressed. After returning the blanket to his pack, he led her out of the forest and into the village. "Do not make a move to charm anyone," he ordered.
"I won't," she promised in fright.
"Oi, freelance boy!"
He looked to the sound of the voice to find one of the men from the pub looking at him with disbelief. Understandable, of course. One doesn't simply parade into a village with a Midara following close behind, after all. "What is it?"
"Why is that thing still alive? You should've put her down!" he demanded.
"I don't ever sully my hands with blood. Nor should you even think to."
"But she's just a Midara! Where's the harm?"
He grabbed his staff and swiftly whipped it into the man's side, forcing him to the dirt. He stood over the man with a deathly cold gaze. "You have such a twisted way of thinking," he said.
Murmurs and whispering rose amongst the people who witnessed the event. The cries of people emerging from the forest and into the village interjected, however, and he took that as his time to leave. "Come, black cat," he said.
He went to leave when a voice rose up from the rest, calling out his name. "Ferro Magia!" It was a man with a shaven face in a suit of leather armor and wearing a sword at his hip. That must've been the knight that was mentioned at the pub.
"Wait, that name..." the man from the pub muttered. "The son of the Duke of Aria?"
Ferro growled in frustration at hearing of his father and turned around. "Yes, I am he. What of it?" he responded.
"Now I get why you're so quick to defend that Midara! You're the son of that man! It all makes sense now!"
"Unless you have something of importance to say, be silent," Ferro snapped. He continued his walk out of the village when the knight spoke up. "Sir! I was sent by your father! He asked me to find you and take you home!"
"I refuse, sir knight. I'm just a burden on him, evidence of what he's done. Look at that drunkard there, he's proof that even when I am not by my father's side, I cause him trouble." He resumed walking and led the Midara further out of the village, ignoring the knight's words all the while. He wouldn't stop, he wouldn't speak, and he wouldn't return to that village for a log time.